Before we start, a big thank you to Nick Dewitt for tackling guest art for this episode. Today, we're gonna talk about economic balance in MMOs.
It's one of the most complex things you can wrestle with as a designer. And it offers a fascinating view into where real-world economic theory and the inherent strangeness of running an MMO collide.
Now, this topic could easily be an entire series unto itself. But today, we're gonna dive into one of the most important issues that MMO economies face: The tendency toward hyperinflation https://gallerilarsolsen.com/.
Pretty much any of you who have played an MMO for any length of time have seen this tendency in effect. The value of a Gold piece in the game drops and drops as time passes. In the first month after launch, you could buy great items for 20 gold pieces. Fast forward to three years later, and those same items are costing ten thousand gold pieces in the auction house. This is why players eventually improvise by adopting alternate currencies... ...such as Stones of Jordan in Diablo 2, or Shards in Asheron's Call.
But why does this hyperinflation happen in the first place, and how can we prevent it? Okay, so let's start by defining "inflation". When the buying power of a given amount of currency drops, we call that "inflation". So, for example, a nickel buys a lot less in the United states today than it did in 1850. As you probably know, whenever you print money in a real-world economy, you inflate the currency. Print too much money and you hit hyperinflation - an economic state where the currency effectively becomes worthless. That's essentially what's happening in all of these MMOs. You see, in the real world, governments control how much money is printed in a given amount of time... ...so that they can regulate how much currency enters the economy. And thus control the rate of inflation to some degree. But where does currency come from in an MMO? Well, monsters. Every time a monster spawns, you're effectively printing money. Every time you kill a mob in an MMO, you either get money directly or you get loot that can be exchanged for money. But to keep the game engaging for the players, these monsters have to respawn in a timely fashion... ...with an amount of loot and currency similar to what they had last time they spawned. If they didn't, you just end up with big empty zones with nothing to fight.
Or people feeling cheated when the first players to get to his own swipe all the good loot. It would be a great way to kill your MMO in a hurry. So over time, more and more currency is being added to the world as, in aggregate, the player base is killing and looting huge amounts of mobs. This effectively devalues the currency and leads to runaway inflation... ...creating the worthless currency scenario that I described before. So how do we combat this problem as designers?
The standard answer is to find currency sinks. Places where you can use game mechanics to take currency out of the world. The obvious go-to is your death mechanic. Every time you die in World of Warcraft, your equipment takes damage. Eventually you have to repair it, which costs money. And that money goes to a vendor, and not another player. So you're giving money to an NPC without getting any resellable goods in return. Effectively taking the full value of that repair out of the world economy. It's a great design idea, but it's not gonna single-handedly solve your problem. The trouble with death sinks is that it's almost impossible to make them effective enough by themselves without feeling onerous. The amount you'd have to charge for repairs would really start frustrating your players. Especially those playing tank classes. The only devs I've seen come close to controlling inflation solely through death mechanics are the folks at CCP with Eve Online. In that game, the economic cost of dying is so staggering, it becomes a strong tool to rein in inflation.
They also encourage large-scale player wars as a key element of the game. These wars destroy so many goods, which then must be replaced, which helps to keep inflation in check.
I'm happy to say that my dad was able, in some way, to help the Filipinos, and if his dream of the Filipino having a better image than what it was then, that is his legacy. World War II was a turning point for Filipinos. Eager to prove their patriotism, Filipinos volunteered en masse to fight against the Japanese. The 1st and 2nd Filipino Infantry regiments were formed, and these wartime efforts led to improved status for Filipinos. My grandfather, Delvin Bohulano, he volunteered, and he was in the Filipino infantry regiment.
And he was involved in that mass nationalization ceremony that you see pictures of thousands, of Filipinos lined up taking their citizenship oath. With citizenship, now you can buy land, (and) now you vote. This is an incredible change for Filipinos. After World War II, the Filipino community, like the rest of the nation, flourished and took new shape. A larger number of Filipinas start coming in because they are (were) war brides. Men who fought overseas in the 1st and 2nd Filipino regiments, when they go back to the Philippines there is an opportunity for them to meet and marry young Pinays https://casinoslots-sa.co.za/citadel.
Young families, better financial possibilities and a new identity as American citizens all created a sense of community and belonging that hadn't existed before. Little Manila was no longer a bachelor society. It became a gathering place for Filipino families. Well, the sports that the Filipinos had back in those days, was very few.
So we decided to get our own team up. And so each town would get their own basketball team: Livingston, Sacramento, Vallejo, San Francisco, (and) L.A. We'd get together and have a tournament: all of us guys. It was we'd get to know each other, (and) meet new girls, you know? My dad had this queen contest going on for a Miss Philippines. The queen contests were popularity contests: you had to sell votes, and they were a dollar a piece. The fraternal organizations would use this as a fundraiser.
Actually that was a big moneymaker at that time. Anita was one of the most beautiful mestizas that I have met, and Anita was one of the candidates. And she won. What did I do with the money? I actually bought furniture for our home. I bought a stove, a dining room set, and a living room set with the 800 dollars.
The work of thousands of Filipinos went into making California's heartland what it is today, a multi-billion dollar agricultural industry that makes California the fifth largest economy in the world. Yet few people are aware that Filipino farm workers played a crucial part in one of the great labor movements of American history: collaborating with Cesar Chavez. The conditions in the fields were amazing (for) what these guys put up with.
A gentlemen by the name of Larry Itliong was in Stockton, and he was part of the labor movement to get Filipinos involved in this whole issue of unfair labor in the fields. (In) 1965 where (when) people think, wow, United Farm Workers, Chicanos, started this movement. But actually it was the Filipinos that dragged the Mexicans into the labor movement. Filipinos from Sacramento, Stockton, (and) the central valley are basically following the crop rotation. They're down in Coachella Valley.
They get to Delano. And so the workers were kind of upset already about what's happening, considering that they came from Coachella, and they were getting $1.40 there. And here in Delano it was $1.10. (If) Filipinos go out on strike, (then) big problem. The Mexicans are going to become the strike breakers, So Itliong goes up to Chavez and says, "Look, we need your support."
And Chavez says, "No, I can't give you my support." Itliong says, "Why not?" Chavez says "I'm not ready. We'll wait 2-3 more years." Itliong says, "No.
But later on you found out that you couldn't go the other side of Main Street, or you couldn't own property. In the Fox Theater, which is the main theater in Stockton, we were not allowed. Filipinos were not allowed to sit in the center part of the movie theater. They were relegated to the side aisles against the walls. And that went on through probably the 40's and maybe even the 50's. Well, to understand racism and to understand the ways that Filipinos were treated, you have to really understand racism and the construction of race relations in the United States at the turn of the century.
Filipinos are essentially the only Asian immigrants entering at this time in which the U.S. essentially said, we are closing our doors to anybody who does not fit this racial stock that we imagine Americans should be made up of, which is white Anglo Saxon protestant racial stock. And so Filipinos are also coming into an area that is populated by people who have migrated from the Midwest and the South, and brought with them (Midwesterners and southerners) to California their ideas of racial superiority (and) rigid segregation, and so Stockton is an extremely segregated city. Why do they (the Filipinos) feel they can wear these suits and drive these cars and date anybody they want to?
Well, that's what their American teachers tell(ing) them (what) they can do (as American residents) in the Philippines. It's important to remember that they grew up in an American colonial culture, and they come to the United States in part because of the extreme poverty that capitalism in American colonialism brings, that's for sure. But they also come to the United States because of the movies they see; because of stories that they hear; because of the teachers who tell them that America is this land of opportunity. They don't tell them about the racism in the United Sates.
They don't tell them they're not allowed to go to certain places; that they're not going to be able to become citizens. In 1934, motivated by anti-Filipino sentiments, Congress passed the Tydings McDuffie Act which later granted independence to the Philippines, but restricted immigration of Filipinos to America to just 50 per year. (The) 1934, Tydings-McDuffie Act changed the status of Filipinos from nationals, which was this kind of in between status of colonial subjects, to aliens.
One year later, Congress attempted to deport Filipinos from the U.S. with the Repatriation Act: a one-way ticket back to the Philippines. For many of these Filipinos to go back home on this one-way ticket and to have to promise to never come back was really seen as a slap in face from the American government. Filipinos knew what was happening. They knew that congress was essentially trying to stop Filipino immigrants from coming to the U.S. And then with the repatriation act, they saw that Filipinos were essentially being told to get out.
And this becomes a rallying point for Filipinos to come around and another reason why Filipinos feel they need to create community organizations in order to give themselves, you know, give each other support. There was a Masonic Order brought over from the Philippines called the Gran Oriente. There was the Legionarios del Trabajo, there was the Caballeros de Masalan, and there was the Filipino Federation of America. And so Filipinos from Stockton could choose from any number of these fraternal orders to find companionship, to find support, (and) to find family. Stockton leaders like Claro Candelario sought out justice for the Filipino community. He spoke against racism, the gambling halls and other businesses taking advantage of Filipinos, as well as the unfair labor practices against farm workers.
I think, really and truly, my dad felt that there has to be something better from the Filipinos, also. But when he came to Stockton, he found out how these agricultural workers were really treated, (and) where they lived. And, well, he just got involved in the movement. In 1939, Filipino labor leaders organized an asparagus strike in Stockton demanding the restoration of higher wages. Their strike was so successful that all but two growers agreed to their terms.
It was some kind of entertainment for them. My dad got girls from San Francisco, Los Angeles, (and) Sacramento: about 20-25 girls working there. But they were all Caucasian girls. And these pinoys, they were all young guys from the islands, they had never danced with a Caucasian woman. It was something for them.
And they'd come in the dance hall dressed up like peacocks. Taxi dance: you'd grab one girl, (and) go from one girl to another. It's like a taxi cab, and then here in Stockton we'd call 'em dime jigs . 10 cents a dance. A jig was the dance. They loved to dance.
They would do the fox trot, the jitterbug, the swing, the tango, any of that, and they prided themselves in being dancers. I appreciated the role of the taxi dancers and the ladies of the evening, because they took the sexual drive of the Filipino men and kept it away from us. They (the Filipino men) treated us like relatives. They would feel that our family was their family.
And so these gals did us a favor. They saved our souls from damnation. Because migrant farm working was not conducive to family life, Filipina women and children were not encouraged to immigrate.
Limited to a ratio of 14 Filipino males to every 1 female, Filipino men instead often found relationships with women of other races. Though many states prohibited Filipinos from marrying whites, a new generation of mestizos, mixed-race Filipinos, was born. My father came from Luzon, and my mother is white. So they were not able to get married in Arizona, 'cause in 1931 Arizona had an anti-miscegenation law. My mother and father had to go to Lordsburg, New Mexico to get married, because they allowed Filipinos to marry whites. On my mom's side it's black, Irish and native American.
And on my father's side it's Ilocano from the Philippines. When I stop to think about it, at our family reunions and different family gatherings, it's every color of the rainbow. Whites in Stockton are absolutely shocked and angered that Filipinos would dare date white women. My god, the affront these young Filipino men wearing these incredible suits that they worked so hard in the fields to buy. You know, walking around downtown Stockton with these white women on their arms, really incited a lot of racist anger. These boiling racial tensions along with fierce competition for jobs during the Depression culminated into race riots and clashes between whites and Filipinos all over the West Coast.
On January 29th, 1930, a bomb shattered the front of the Filipino Federation Building in Stockton. Well, during those days that (type of) racism was something that wasn't against the law. We were never allowed to go beyond Main Street, north of Main Street, where you could be spotted because you were dark skinned. My father would never go into town unless he had his brother or his cousin or some of his town mates with him. And that was mainly for protection.
If anybody wanted to come up to you and just make a derogatory remark, then they would do it, and there was no recourse. It would only make things worse. Back in the 30's early 40's there was a feeling of discrimination back then.
I remember one time this guy, Johnny Mokado, and I we went to some hotel. And right there on the steps: No Filipinos Allowed . Man, I was shocked to see that. That really amazed me.
But it just didn't dawn on me at that time of being discrimination. We just said you don't want us, you don't want us. So we just took off.
Have you been to Las Vegas? Great place. So today I’m just going to give you some alternate things that you can do when you head to Las Vegas as opposed to going gambling. So Las Vegas is one of the coolest places, you can actually drink beer or alcohol while you walk on the Strip.
What they call the Las Vegas Strip. Now, O.K. so the first thing. When you get to the airport, they have these little shuttle vans that will take you to your destination but if you don’t wanna pay that money, you can take, its like about $6.50 now, you know, its not bad, but if you want to try to save money, there’s a local bus that you can actually take.
Just follow the signs to where they have the shuttle pickups (hotel shuttle) and the bus is actually at the end. The schedule and everything is on there so you can take a look. Now, if you buy a day pass, that day pass can get you to your destination as well as take you down the Strip, there’s a bus that runs down the Strip Casinoslots.
It’s about $5 bucks I think it is. Now so once you are in, you’re on the Strip, you don’t have to… if it’s your first time, you should stay on the Strip. If it’s not your first time, then you can stay off the Strip and still have a good time and the hotels are cheaper. Also, if you stay on like Sunday, Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, you can get a spectacular rate. I mean, I once stayed at the Excalibur for like $28 a night and that was the first night, the second night was about $65 and then because there was a convention in town, the next day the price went up ridiculously. But you can stay off the Strip for not too much.
Just go to like Kayak or actually, we have a hotels.com link. Go to there and check your hotels from that, from that link. The other thing to do is if you’re into roller coasters. There are… Las Vegas has three roller coasters: One is at New York, New York, pretty awesome. The other is at the other end of the Strip at somewhere called the Stratosphere. Now here’s the cool thing about this one.
It, if you look at the Stratosphere, it’s like this really tall tower and it goes up like this. The roller coaster goes on the outside of that. Pretty awesome stuff. So check that out. Now, if you rent a car, you can go out towards the California/Nevada border and there’s a hotel out there and there’s also a roller coaster out there so definitely go and check that out. The other thing to do if you have a car is go check out Hoover Dam.
Hoover Dam is amazing and it sits right on the border of I guess that’s Nevada and Arizona. I think it is. And the cool thing is that you get the one-hour time difference ‘cause Nevada is one hour behind and you, you, can straddle the line. It’s (Hoover Dam) actually losing quite a bit of water. You can see by the white, the white area, when you go you will see exactly what I mean.
You can see that there’s a water level and there’s a white area above and the white line is where the water used to be. So it’s quite tragic that so much water is, ah the dam is losing so much water, well the river is losing so much water. So, ah I think that’s kind of the other cool stuff that you can do.
There’s also a bunch of shows in Las Vegas of course, which is the norm. One thing to check out is “O”. “O” is one of those Cirque de Soleil show, awesome stuff.
Also, when you walk down the Strip, there is a, the ah, the, ah, what’s the name of it now… ahh… ahhh… the Bellagio. Awesome, totally awesome. I think it goes off like every hour maybe very half hour and its spectacular. Try to see it at night and also try to go see it in the daytime.
Really, really good stuff. So, ah, ah, that’s it. Go enjoy Las Vegas.
“The allure is a passage behind the parapet of a castle wall. Great for defense when the enemy is approaching. You know you’re safe on the allure.” She tucks her head beneath my chin, twining her hand with mine. “Like we’re safe with each other.”
“No doubt about it, beauty.” I press my face against her sweet-smelling hair. “You’ll always be my allure.”
This is the second book in the Spiral of Bliss Trilogy. You need to read Arouse, first so that you can follow the story of Liv and Dean. I am loving these books, because it is exploring the relationship of a married couple, which we rarely find in romance novels. Also, these books are well written and easy for readers.
Allure starts right where Arouse ended. Liv has told Dean that she is pregnant and they are trying to settle back into their lives with each other after their separation. I loved this part of the book. Liv and Dean have such a comfort with each other. Even something as simple as sharing coffee (accompanied by their funny and quirky love notes attached to the mugs) showed the readers how at ease they are with each other. One of my favorite lines from Dean during their first night reunited :
“Right now I want you naked against me, Dean says. I want to wake up cold because you’ve hogged all the blankets. I want to feel your leg between mine, your hair in my face, your arm flung across my chest. I want to find myself on the edge of the bed in the morning because you’ve sprawled all over the mattress. I want to sleep with you.”
As in most trilogies, I find the second book a bit weaker for lack of a better term than the first. Arouse has been my favorite, so far. That doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy this one. I liked Liv even more, though, in this one. She is very strong and takes the lead in setting them on a course for healing. She seems more introspective than Dean and knows what he needs, whereas, Dean seems lost and unsure of what to do. Dean is having a hard time dealing with expectations from his parents and himself. He is so hard on himself. He wanted to always be Livs white knight and is having a hard timfae finding his way.
I cried and laughed while reading this one. I was in awe of the true love between the two of them. I’m proud of Liv and anxious to see their journey continue in book 3.
“Silence falls, pulsing with the truth of what I’ve learned and what Dean has yet to acknowledge. Our relationship, our love, cannot and will never be perfect. It will, however, always belong only to us in all its flawed, intense beauty. Perfect in its very imperfection.”
There are many ways in which to improve your public speaking skills.
Elocution, or speaking in a clear and expressive manner, is one of the best ways to begin. It is possible to practice on your own with reference books or internet sites. Another way to improve elocution is to enter a contest or take a course. Both of these methods can provide you with public speaking training and helpful hints to improve your delivery when speaking in public.
One of the most basic public speaking skills that elocution practice gives you is the ability to make your voice carry.
It is very frustrating for an audience to have to strain to hear the voice of a speaker, and this is especially important when speaking to groups in larger rooms where there may be no sound system to help make your voice reach those sitting at the back. Even just opening your mouth wider than usual can help make the sound of your voice carry much further, and elocution practice will give you other strategies.
You have probably noticed that those who speak well are quite easy to understand, and that any accent they have usually doesn't interfere with the ability to clearly follow what is being said. This is due to articulation, an important part of good elocution. Public speaking experts recommend practicing clear articulation before having to make a speech. When practicing, make sure that each word is clearly pronounced, so that there is a crisp, tightness to each word. Once you smooth the words together carefully, you will have a well-articulated speech.
One of the most important skills when speaking in public is the use of pauses.
Stressing key words, giving time for information to sink in, and using a pause for dramatic effect are just a few of the reasons why pauses are one of the more important skills to learn for giving a presentation. In addition to those reasons, carefully placed pauses are a good chance to make effective eye contact without distracting from your presentation.
If you want to improve your public speaking skills, then learning good elocution is a great way to start.
You can register for contests, or just study on your own. This is also an effective way to help reduce any public speaking phobias you may have. By concentrating on the skills that make someone a good presenter, you can in turn reduce the amount of stress you may feel during a presentation by concentrating on the skills required to do well, rather than specifically focusing on your fears.
Those who like speaking in public have the chance to find meaningful work.
While you may have to begin for free, you can suddenly find yourself being paid well to speak and finding freelance opportunities. If there is one topic that you know a great deal about, and if you have self-confidence and have no public speaking phobias, then you may find yourself getting paid to do something that you have knowledge about and that you enjoy by seeking out public speaking jobs.
One of the best ways to find public speaking jobs is by joining different speaker clubs and organizations.
Typically, you need to become a member and pay some fees, but once you do so you will have access to a range of information and options that can greatly aid in finding work. There are usually job postings offered on the websites of these organizations, as well as the chance to improve your own techniques and network with other individuals in the same field.
Jobs where you are teaching others about public speaking are also just a search away online.
You can use one of the major search engines, like Google, to find job postings or regularly check job sites like www.craigslist.com. While some of the jobs listed may not offer the greatest pay or support, there is certainly the possibility of finding a great opportunity to share what you know about giving a presentation.
If you love speaking in public but you don't like being self-employed, then you can always check out trainer positions at different companies.
These positions tend to require a background in the industry that the company works in, but some employers will look for individuals who have excellent public speaking techniques and then invest time in training the hired person in their particular industry. The advantage here is that you have a steady paycheck and possibly the chance to do more interesting things within the company.
Thus, you can earn a good living with public speaking jobs.
Utilizing the resources available to you through the internet, and finding organizations and companies who need someone with a good business presentation skill set can all aid in your financial security. It will take time to train, practice, market yourself and do a lot of networking. Yet if you love to speak in public, then you may become sought after by many organizations and companies as a freelance worker. Or you can find work directly through one company once you've built up your resume.
If you are looking for a course that will help you to improve public speaking skills, then there are many choices. A whole industry exists that centers on these types of courses and the skills they develop, such as overcoming public speaking phobias. You can often choose the type of course you want, though a lot may depend on where you live and what is offered nearby. Online courses are available but they are only effective for certain types of situations, since both the presenter and the audience will be more or less hidden from view.
Once you've picked a specific approach to improve public speaking that suits you, it is extremely important to have information on the instructor. How long they've been teaching this course, what their background is and how much training they've had speaking to groups; all of these elements are very important. If the instructor has a background in teaching, then this may even be better than having many degrees behind their name.
There is a public speaking training course out there for just about any type of person. Look carefully at what the course promises to do and determine if it is right for you. You may get a lot of public speaking anxiety and wish to reduce the level of discomfort you feel; or, you may want to learn techniques for engaging an audience composed of large groups that do not know each other. Look at what the different courses offer and make sure the one you choose will meet your specifications.
A course can be different in terms of the types of public speaking it focuses on, and it can also be different in structure. Some courses will be very hands on, where there is a bit of discussion, and then a lot of practice with regular feedback. Other courses don't really provide an opportunity to stand up and try out the techniques, but instead offer a lot of theory and ideas on developing presentation skills that you can use at work or school on your own. Find out which approach the instructor will take before you sign up.
Taking a course to improve public speaking can be a useful activity, or it can be a waste of time and money. Which of the two it will be largely depends on the amount of research you do before starting any course. Ask if you can observe a class before you join, or find out what kind of refund you can get if you are not happy after the first lesson or two. Above all, investigate the course and make sure that it is what you need.